In the event of an accident, most of us wouldn’t know roughly what to do and how to move forward with claims whether by private settlement or through insurance would we? Now with so many vehicles on the road belonging to a large number of rental companies, whether for personal or commercial use by companies such as Uber or Grab, (Heck, even a taxi constitutes a rented vehicle doesn’t it?) chances are that there could be a driver without a clue to the vehicle’s insurer behind the wheel. In the event of an accident this becomes more than just an inconvenience, creating a hindrance to proceed if the repair claims are made through insurance.
I had the opportunity to meet a rider who went through such an experience, after being hit by a rented vehicle and the roller coaster headache he went through in making the claims. I’ve changed his name at his request – let’s call him Dave – and will not mention what make or model he rides, though I will tell you it was a high-end tourer, with repair costs reaching a hefty SGD 22k. The guide below is based on his account.
Document the scene with photographs of both vehicles for filing police reports and get the license plate number of the other vehicle. If Traffic Police are on site they will file a report for their own reference. Exchange particulars with the other driver if possible or with assistance from a police officer if the other party is not compliant. Dave had to be conveyed to hospital, although he had a friend to help him out at the scene and supervise the towing of the vehicle to his insurers’ approved workshop for repairs. If not, the Traffic Police will tow the vehicle to their compound.
2.The Day (Or Days) After
File a police report within 24hrs of the accident. If hospitalized, there is a duty officer in the hospital who will be informed by medical staff to visit you and assist to file the report. The insurer’s approved workshops will assist to file a GIA accident report after which you may or may not choose them to conduct the repairs to your vehicle. Should you choose them to repair the vehicle for you they will proceed with the claims on your behalf. If there was no opportunity for you to collect insurance details of the other party (the rental car company in this case, LTA offers an e-service and for SGD $5.35 you can acquire the details of the other party’s insurance company.
3.What if the other party tries to complicate matters?
Cheeky but nasty. In this case, the other party being the vehicle rental company, was not willing to provide details when Dave needed the driver’s particulars and insurer’s details. The rental company flatly refused to assist and played the difficult card. He got the rental company’s insurer’s details by paying the administration fee to LTA while the rental company’s insurer chose to contest the liability component. Dave then chose to pursue a civil claim against them instead. A liability component can determine a higher figure in insurance pay-outs, depending on the liability (duh!) of both parties in the accident and injuries to anybody which can compound the pay-outs based on a personal damage component and increase the insurance pay-out. Since Dave’s case did not go to trial where a judge would decide the liability, the law firm and insurer had to either debate on the proportion of liability or reach an agreement on a lump sum pay-out without prejudice.
The claims took almost 9 months to be approved, handled between the law firm and the rental company’s insurer. To my knowledge, insurers draw up a kitty based on damage assessment to cover repairs and all other costs, including medical treatment. Allowing a vehicle to sit in the workshop for 9 months defeats the purpose of vehicle ownership doesn’t it? More so in Singapore where we have to take up 10 year COEs, whether we like it or not. Dave paid the full cost of repairs first to get his ride up and out of the workshop while waiting for the insurance claims to come in. In the end the insurance pay-out received did not cover the costs of repairs, medical treatment and alternative transportation in full.
Hope this helps inform you readers how to proceed with accident claims should the unfortunate event arise. Know anybody who might find this useful? Hit share or tag them in the comments!
Also, if in doubt, Dave gave me a link for an E-book, for SGD $5.85, called the Motor Accident Guide. Published by the State Courts of Singapore the book is meant to guide parties in resolving accident claims promptly – TGA
Got a similar experience or did things differently? Share it in the comments section below and help a fellow rider learn a thing or two!